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Dollar steady, yuan up as China set to drop some tariffs

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar started a short week in Asia flat amid indications that China and the U.S. continue to make progress in trade talks.

The U.S. dollar index was at 97.69 by 8:30 PM ET (00:30 GMT), flat for the morning but off last week’s highs of 97.758.

In turn, the People’s Bank of China set the reference rate of the yuan at 7.0117, stronger than Friday’s rate of 7.0020.

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a “very good talk” with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the phase one trade deal reached this month and added that China has started to make large purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

On Monday, China’s Ministry of Finance said the country would lower or remove import tariffs on 850 products from Jan. 1, including pork, frozen avocado and some technology products.

The USD/JPY pair gained 0.01% to 109.43. Last week, the Bank of Japan said it expects rates to remain low or lower than they are now.

The Australian dollar climbed 0.09% against the U.S. dollar to reach 0.6905.

The NZD/USD pair gained 0.11% to 0.6607, with the Kiwi dollar continuing to gain momentum after third-quarter economic growth came in stronger than expected last week.

The GBP/USD pair gained 0.05% to 1.3009 after.

The USD/SGD pair was up 0.07% to 1.3358 ahead of the release of Singapore’s consumer inflation data later in the day.

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